There are many professionals working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa
but their visas expire before they get the approval for a Green Card
. Outsourcing companies which help in obtaining U.S. work visas
for foreign workers in companies presently are the target of many critics. They criticize the H-1B visa program, and there is a new lawsuit now.
HCL an Indian outsourcing company is accused of discrimination against non-Indian citizens, in the fields of hiring, and promoting. They are fired at a higher rate than Indian workers. Moreover, they exploit the American visa system
, and secure more H-1B visas
than they can use. These are the claims of a lawsuit by a former employee. HCL has not responded in this matter.
There is a lottery-based H-1B visa program,
exclusively for top skill jobs, which is facing criticism now. Moreover, there is a report of abuse by outsourcing firms, Disney and UC San Francisco. There is a claim that all this is used to replace local workers with overseas nationals. The tech industry of Silicon Valley depends immensely on the H-1B visas
. It is lobbying to increase to the annual cap of 85,000 on new visas.
Reese Voll, Computer-System Architect says in his lawsuit that after working at HCL for two years he was terminated in 2016. He has made the allegation that the company gives a preference to South Asians in making most employment decisions. HCL’s workforce is mainly Indian. Voll seeks class-action status for this lawsuit, filed in US District Court in San Jose.
The scope of practices
HCL submits huge number of visa petitions for positions than existing actually in the US. The reason is maximizing the chances to secure the highest number of H-1B visas available in the lottery. Thus HCL can secure visas for more number of individuals than it presently needs. These H-1B visas obtained by HCL are exclusively for South Asians.
There is preference to foreign citizens; Non-South Asian individuals are displaced from positions to help South Asians. Visa-holding Indians get Jobs.
The suit claims the employment practices of H.C.L. violate U.S. law. Workers from India have dominated the H-1-B system
, and there are reports that Indian citizens got more than half of H-1-B visas from 2001 to 2015.
Statistics to prove the case
Companies obtain the H-1-B and in 2016, the top recipient firms had a majority of Indian outsourcing companies. When H.C.L. shows its preference for Indian workers it promotes them at a high rate than others. Moreover, it terminates non-South Asians quickly. The South Asian colleagues speak in Hindi socially and at the time of discussion on client-work,. Thus he was unable to fully participate in these conversations. Voll has sought the approval of the court to bring employees of non South Asian origin as co-plaintiffs. They had applied for positions within H.C.L. in the U.S. but were denied hiring. There were also some who sought promotions but faced refusal. Moreover, some of them were terminated involuntarily.
Finally he is seeking compensation and unspecified damages. The court must force H.C.L. to have a non-discriminatory approach in all decisions regarding employment, hiring, promotions, and also in terminations.